That was fast.
Just last week, we told you that when it comes to Georgia’s lax pay-to-play laws, the once-fierce ethics watchdog, Sen. Josh McKoon, has turned into a disappointing lap dog who isn’t even willing to say that the practice should be illegal.
Instead, he told the newspaper that he wanted to protect politicians.
Sen. McKoon didn’t like that we called him out on his weak ethics stance, and within hours, attacked Better Georgia on Twitter and Facebook.
It’s nothing new for politicians to lash out at us when we dare to tell the truth about them – in this case using Sen. McKoon’s own words.
But, then, something remarkable happened.
That same day, for the first time, Sen. McKoon said that he plans more ethics reform next year.
We still haven’t seen Sen. McKoon’s proposal but it’s a step in the right direction.
This is exactly why we do the work we do at Better Georgia. Elected officials behave better when they know the voters they face will be armed with information.
Your support of Better Georgia makes this kind of change possible!
Now, when it comes to Sen. McKoon and Georgia’s abysmal record on ethics, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
In his attack on Better Georgia, Sen. McKoon was quick to brag about his record on ethics reform, but the facts paint a different picture.
While Sen. McKoon has had a lot of say about ethics, very little has actually changed.
Georgia still ranks dead last on the Center for Public Integrity’s Corruption Risk Report Card.
And, the ethics “reform” legislation passed in 2013 is so full of loopholes that Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner has spent the summer resort-hopping at the expense of representatives of the industries he regulates.
Sen. McKoon is practically breaking his arm to pat himself on the back for this.
Unfortunately, despite his promise to “address” pay-to-play, Sen. McKoon still has not called for an end to this blatantly unethical practice that is already illegal in many states and for federal candidates. And he still has not gone on record to say that it was wrong for Gov. Deal’s campaign and related political action committee to accept more than $1.8 million from state vendors.
Instead, in his comments, McKoon complained about “the real difficulty in crafting effective ethics legislation that curbs conflict of interest in a part time legislature.”
Here we go again.
It’s not difficult. There’s no nuance, no need to protect politicians.
The bottom line is, Sen. McKoon should lead the effort to make this obviously unethical practice illegal in Georgia.
Unfortunately, Sen. McKoon’s ambition for statewide office has softened his crusade for meaningful ethics reform. Instead, he’s chosen to spend most of his time appealing to the most radical conservatives in his party by embracing Donald Trump-style immigration policy.
There’s nothing ethical about that.
At Better Georgia, we’ll continue to hold elected officials like Sen. McKoon accountable. Your contribution today will support that work and make sure that when they attack us, we can fight back.